Used 1996 Buick LeSabre Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1996

The Series II engine becomes standard on LeSabre. Order the Gran Touring suspension, and get the same magnetic variable effort steering found on the Park Avenue Ultra. Now standard on the Custom is an electric rear window defogger and storage armrest. Limited trim levels get Twilight Sentinel, dual automatic ComforTemp climate controls and a rear-seat center armrest.

Vehicle overview

The Le Sabre is the most popular full-size car sold in America today, and has been for three years running. It isn't hard to understand why. The award-winning Le Sabre has a reputation for trouble-free, comfortable motoring with accommodations for six-passengers, front-wheel drive and a torquey V6 engine pulling the whole package around town.

Le Sabre is available in Custom or Limited trim, and we recommend the Gran Touring Package, which includes very handsome alloy wheels, a more competent suspension, magnetic variable effort steering and automatic level control.

For 1996, Buick has bestowed a host of changes upon its popular sedan. A more powerful standard engine debuts this year. The Series II 3.8-liter V6 gives the Le Sabre newfound vitality. A new Personal Choice remote system allows two drivers to program lighting and locking to their individual preferences. Three new colors are available, and new standard equipment includes a rear window defogger and front storage armrest on Custom models. Dual automatic front and rear ComforTemp is standard on the 1996 Limited, as is Twilight Sentinel.

Custom buyers can now order traction control, Twilight Sentinel, and full analog gauges. New lighting makes entry and exit easier, and features theater dimming. Five-year/100,000 mile coolant is standard, as are long life spark plugs. Antilock braking has been improved for better pedal feel.

Pathetically, two reminder chimes are standard. One tells the driver that the parking brake has been engaged for more than 50 feet. The other reminds the driver that the turn signal has been blinking for nearly a mile. These features are scary commentary on the abilities of the average driver in America.

Priced in the 20's, Le Sabre competes with such cars as the Buick Roadmaster, Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis, all of which offer V8 power, larger interiors and rear-wheel drive. We like the Gran Touring model of the Le Sabre, but sporting drivers may prefer the Pontiac Bonneville or Nissan Maxima.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.